Fr. Kevin’s Column 6/6/21

Dear friends of God,

This weekend we celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday, which is also called the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle is believed by some to have said, “we are what we repeatedly do.” The funny thing is that he never actually said it, but that wisdom is found in different ways in his writings, but never in those exact words. That happens to many historical people. Words they did not actually say are frequently attributed to them. We might have heard that George Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie.” If you were told that our first president said that, you were told a lie. Words have power and some were even spoken. This is why coming to Eucharist every week is essential to our discipleship: we believe the true words that Jesus spoke.

We come together weekly because of words that Jesus spoke two thousand years ago before his death and resurrection: “Do this in memory of me.” The oldest words of the Eucharist that we have come from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:23-26)

As Catholic Christians, we take Jesus command to do this in memory of me seriously because we understand that Jesus has given us his Word and his Body and Blood to be consumed to nourish us on our own journeys into the freedom that comes in serving God and our neighbor. God has not given us the Eucharist as a prize for being good but as medicine for our sinful struggles and failings in neglecting God and our neighbor. None of us is worthy to receive the Eucharist, but we all need the Body and Blood of the Lord to heal our sin sick souls.  We cannot stand in judgment towards anyone coming in humility to the Table of the Lord. If we are judging others, we really block ourselves from understanding the gift that comes to us in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is not a weapon but a gift of love. Pope Francis stated this clearly in his Apostolic Exhortation known as the Joy of the Gospel Evangelii Gaudium, the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (#47). The Eucharist is not a prize but pure gift. It is the gift that empowers us to become people of compassion and love for our neighbor and for all of creation. Through it, we become wounded healers.

The Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and of summit of our spiritual lives as Catholic Christians. Pope Francis said this last year on this The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ:

The Eucharist brings us the Father’s faithful love, which heals our sense of being orphans. It gives us Jesus’ love, which transformed a tomb from an end to a beginning, and in the same way can transform our lives. It fills our hearts with the consoling love of the Holy Spirit, who never leaves us alone and always heals our wounds, ….

Every time we receive him, he reminds us that we are precious, that we are guests he has invited to his banquet, friends with whom he wants to dine. And not only because he is generous, but because he is truly in love with us. He sees and loves the beauty and goodness that we are…
 
I thank God for the call to serve our community and to preside at the Eucharist that we share together in our lovely
community of faith that we call Holy Trinity. 
 
Much Love,
Fr. Kevin